The New Mets ACE In The Hole?

With the Major League Baseball draft beginning today, the New York Mets, coming off their sweep at home of the Florida Marlins, will be in a very good position with the 7th overall pick in the first round.

Sach C has done an impressive job by breaking down the many high school and college prospects recently. It’s a definite must read and I recommend everyone to check those out.

The Mets last two first round picks were in 2008 when they had the 18th pick – Ike Davis and the 22nd pick – Reese Havens. I’ve always been adamant that the Mets need to build from within and draft picks, while always a gamble, can sometimes yield very nice results – the aforementioned Ike Davis being one.

As much as I stress having a stocked farm system, it’s always welcome to have a few teams willing to part ways with a gem or two. As we get closer to the trade deadline of July 31st, the Mets find themselves in the hunt to assemble an elite starting pitching triple punch core , the likes of which are only talked about in that OTHER New York borough. Two ace starting pitchers are on the market.

Roy Oswalt’s non-demand, demand to be traded may have rubbed a few of his fellow Texans on the Astros the wrong way. With a record as of today of 3 – 8 and an ERA slightly over 3, Oswalt, who’s silver bullet is a no-trade clause in his contract, has seen the writing on the wall and yes Houston we have a problem. The Astros are in a serious decline and Roy Oswalt wants a ring. I can’t blame him. He’s option one.

Option two is out on the left coast and plays in the Siberia of baseball, Cliff Lee of the Seattle Mariners. The only thing that would have been worse for Lee, when the National League Champion Phillies traded him this past off season, would have been if Lee’s plane ticket read : one way – Baltimore/Washington International Airport. The TSA probably would have had a few issues that day.

To this day I’m still oddly annoyed at the treatment of Lee by the Phillies. Then again anything the Phillies do tend to annoy me. I realize Roy Halladay is THE stud pitcher in baseball right now but call me sentimental; didn’t Cliff Lee pretty much pitch his gluteus maximus off during his brief tenure?

He went 7 – 4 with an ERA of 3.39 for them last season. The postseason is where he was truly off the charts. He went 4 – 0 with a minuscule 1.56 ERA, winning Philadelphia’s only 2 games in the World Series.

Now I understand the business complexities of baseball but isn’t there something to be said for a little loyalty anymore, especially when it comes to the guy who carried his team’s water in the postseason?

Not only did Philly go out of there way to trade for Halladay, but constructed a four team deal that required Ralphie’s Little Orphan Annie decoder ring to decipher. The result of which supplanted their 2009 postseason “hero” into baseball exile.

Allow me to explain. You ready? You may need to sit for this. The Phillies sent Lee to Seattle then sent prospects – catcher Travis d’Arnaud , pitcher Kyle Drabek and outfielder Michael Taylor to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays then sent Taylor to the A’s for first baseman Brett Wallace.

In return the Phillies received Halladay, pitching prospects Phillipe Aumont and Juan Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies from Seattle. I almost forgot they also pick pocketed six million in cash from Toronto.

Now I’m not sure if I’m annoyed at Lee’s disrespect by the Phillies, or that the Phillies had the stones to get this done- and who the hell knew Canada had six million dollars just laying around? I mean it’s Canada…really?

Now what does all this mean to the Mets you ask? Great question. First off I’m leaning towards Omar making a move for Lee, as soon as possible. The Mets and just about every other buyer come the July 31st trade deadline, could be in the driver’s seat for Lee.

The Astros still have Oswalt under contract until the end of next year, trading him, in spite of his unhappiness, isn’t a major priority, unless of course he has a major league Oliver Perez style hissy fit in the next few weeks. Now that would just be downright ugly and not to mention would completely lack originality and I’m a man that likes originality baby. There can only be one big A…I mean O and it’s not you Oswalt.

The Mariners gain nothing by keeping Lee for the remainder of this year unless of course they plan on offering him arbitration knowing he’ll decline and in turn score themselves a draft pick. They’re in last place and unless they collectively have a complete out of body experience, it’s going to remain that way.

I find it hard to believe that at 32 years old and to have already tasted postseason play, that Lee will decide to stick around for a few “rebuilding” years in Seattle.

What would it take to pry Lee from Seattle? Not much if Omar plays it right. It’s like a game of poker and Omar knows that Jack Zduriencik, the General Manager of the Mariners, has a weak hand and the river card is about to be dealt.

I could see a deal involving mostly minor leaguers. Perhaps going so far as to offer Fernando Martinez, Brad Holt and perhaps Kirk Nieuwenhuis. I’d be more apt not to let F-Mart go, but I swear every time I hear about another F-Mart injury the name Alex Escobar comes to mind and we all know what a storied career he had.

If Omar really wants to test his creativity and Zduriencik’s will, he could try prying Chone Figgins along with Lee. But let’s not jump ahead of ourselves; that may cost the Mets some serious coin and it’s not like this is Toronto where 6 million clams are sitting around stuck in a zamboni. The key to the deal would be for Omar to do what he did in the Johan Santana trade when he worked out an extension simultaneously.

Imagine a rotation that includes Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and Cliff Lee. Imagine Chone Figgins and Jose Reyes in the same lineup? That my friends, could be a huge advantage and take us to the post season and if you don’t think that deep down Cliff Lee would absolutely love to stick it to the Philadelphia Phillies, then I’d bet my rather impressive MMO salary on it. If by any chance you win, just reach out to Joe D for the payout. I hear he pays in Euro’s.

About Joe Spector 86 Articles
I'm just your regular Joe. Staff writer @ Happily married and a father to a baby girl. I attended my first Met game at the ripe old age of 3 where my father scored a foul ball and had it signed by Lee Mazzilli, Joe Torre and Joe Pignataro. It was my Holy Grail - 'till I buried it in the backyard. I have my own website where you can read my drivel at your leisure @